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June 10, 2004

Tayshaun Prince


Q. Tayshaun, I wanted to ask you, when you're guarding Kobe Bryant, what things are you thinking about running through your head? And what are the keys to try to prevent him from really getting off and making spectacular dunks and that type of stuff?

TAYSHAUN PRINCE: For the most part I just try to use my length. I think, you know, just trying to say this over and over, because for the most part, he's quick. He's got a different variety of moves. So, for the most part, just trying to use my length and stay in front of him. You know, the times that you let him get one step past you, that's the time that he scores. But everybody keeps asking me, you know, as far as how you're stopping Kobe, but I think for the most part, Ben and Rasheed, all of those guys are doing a good job talking behind me and letting me know where the help is coming from and stuff like that. I've really been depending on them guys to get me help and when he do take outside shots, just contest him.

Q. Don't you get tired? I mean, you're running after Kobe the whole game, and running for the breaks and shooting 3-pointers. What's your energy like during the game?

TAYSHAUN PRINCE: Definitely I was a little tired today. But, I mean, you know, this is the Finals. You've got to fight through that. We've come a long way, so, you know, for the most part, everybody just got to go -- and especially coming from the West Coast, you know, the night before last, and we've had a long flight. For us to come out and respond the way we did today was good, and we've got a big game coming on Sunday because they are going to come out and playing tougher than they did tonight.

Q. Can you talk about how dominant the starting backcourt was, Rip and Chauncey, 50 points together?

TAYSHAUN PRINCE: For the most part, when those guys play like that, you know, we pretty much are a great basketball team. The guys, we try to get Chauncey and Rip moving, get them some shots and they are able to knock them down. We tried to get the ball inside to Rasheed a couple of times, and he got two quick fouls early on, got him out of the game, so we try to get Rasheed the ball. Once he got in foul trouble, we try to go to Rip and Chauncey, which we've been doing all year long and they definitely responded tonight.

Q. Have you done enough study of Kobe to know when the ball fake is coming and when he is actually shooting? That seems to be one of the problem when people defend him.

TAYSHAUN PRINCE: For the most part, he has so many different moves. He just got to stay on the ground. For the most part by me being long and having a long wingspan, I think if I do stay down and contest it, you know, if he makes it, that's a tough shot. So just got to stay on the ground because he's just got so many different moves.

Q. Being from L.A., did you grow up rooting for the Lakers, and what is it like playing against your hometown team? Is there any emotional things on your part or more motivation on your part?

TAYSHAUN PRINCE: You know, definitely it's been a fun experience just to get to the Finals, most importantly, but second of all, playing against the Lakers is unbelievable. Definitely my hometown and I was a big-time Laker fan growing up. Magic Johnson was definitely my idol. You know, when the later part of the team came, Kobe was my idol. It's definitely an opportunity to play against these guys and for the most part, you know, just being here for the Finals is a great experience. So definitely got to cherish this and definitely don't take it for granted because you don't know if you'll be back.

Q. Coach Jackson said maybe Kobe was having some problems with the look of the crowd and the background here at the Palace. Have you noticed anything like that happening to opposing guards or players?

TAYSHAUN PRINCE: Definitely, I don't know, I've never experienced, you know, the crowd bothering me or anything like that. For the most part in Game 1 and Game 2, he took 27 shots, so he was a lot more aggressive and I think tonight 12 or 13 shots. He's trying to get his teammates the ball and stuff like that, so for the most part, you've got to look for a different Kobe in Game 4 as far as shooting the ball a lot more and definitely trying to get the ball in the basket.

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